Point Loma Nazarene University
Contact: Nicholle Jaramillo
Point TV: Channel 23 Marketing & Promotions Mgr.
Advisor: Alan Hueth (619) 849-2358
Date: March 18, 2011
Written by: Nicholle Jaramillo
PLNU Alumnus Walks with God in Water and Film
It started with a yearning to know God and has now evolved into a non-profit organization that seeks to share the Gospel with surfing communities. Bryan Jennings, a 1998 PLNU alumnus founded the non-profit, Walking on Water, in 1995 with hopes he could share his faith with younger generations. It started with an overnight surf camp in San Diego and has grown into an international ministry.
Although the ministry started out with surf camps, the non-profit has expanded into surf films. In the last eight years, nine movies have been released and audience numbers have grown in the thousands. On February 19th, Jennings premiered his latest film he had a hand in, The Road Trip U.S.A., for PLNU students in Crill Auditorium. The film follows Chris Krstevski, Troy Payne and Kuno Maliepaard on a 15,000 mile, cross-country journey to spread the Gospel.
“The producers of The Road Trip USA are great guys and God did amazing things along the way,” said Jennings. “I wanted to help them with their world premiere and we decided to do the event at PLNU in hopes of inspiring some up and coming film makers and missionaries.”
Jennings’s non-profit began as a surf ministry, but he has expanded it into a non-profit that also produces films. He says that although not everyone is willing to go to church, most people will come to a movie theatre to see a film. His initial project started with just a few outreaches and has developed into more than he ever anticipated
“It was just one step of faith at a time, and God continues to do more than we ever thought or imagined,” said Jennings. “We produced the first surf movie and it was really encouraging to see people respond to the Gospel message through those movies and the outreaches.”
Films and faith have extended Jennings the opportunity to tell stories and share personal testimonies. This can be best seen in his own film—which happens to have the same name of his non-profit, Walking on Water. In this film, he gives two young surfers the opportunity of a lifetime. As they travel to different locations around the world, they learn about their faith in God, and their faith in others. Jennings was taken on his own trip at age 14 that had a similar impact.
“I wanted to return the favor. I knew a movie about two kids traveling the world would be a great way to share who God is with the kids and with those in the audience at the screenings,” said Jennings. “It has been amazing to see over 175,000 people in live attendance at the outreach events in over 25 countries.”
Jennings is currently working on Promised Land, a film that focuses on the surfing community of Israel. He has also written his own first feature film. However his work does not stop her, as he has also been involved with promoting, Soul Surfer. The film is based on the true story of teen surfer, Bethany Hamilton, who lost her left arm in a shark attack. But with fight and determination, she became a champion surfer all over again. The move is set to release in theatres on April 8th.
This surfer and man of faith has come far since his time at PLNU. However, he says that the university was a great place for him to grow in his faith, spend time with God on the campus and in the water surfing. Jennings thanks faculty who encouraged him during his time there and has a piece of success advice for students.”
“It was at PLNU where the Walking On Water ministry started and it will always be a special place to me,” said Jennings. “I encourage all current PLNU students to get busy doing what God has called you to do. Don’t wait until after you graduate. Step out in faith now and see what HE does.”
For more information regarding Bryan Jennings’s ministry please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.